Technical Information

Universal joints
Torrel Disk Brake conversion kit Instruction Manual
Fairey Overdrive Installation and Users Manual
25D/45D distributor rebuild
Wiring and old Land Rovers
Differential Drain Plug Improvement
Zenith Carburettor
Rebuild Warn xd9000i Winch
GL4 gear oil
Nicholson Method of Removing Stub of Broken Axle
Seat Replacement
Transfer Case Removal While Leaving the Transmission in Place
Paint Codes
British Registration Letters

Universal Joint Maintenance

All our Land Rover's have at least six universal joints, mine has nine. They are all wear items, meaning they are designed to wear out and need changing. Proper lubrication will extend their life enormously but they will need changing at some point. Yes! You can do it, with a few simple tools and a hammer.

----name---- Content-----

Torrel Disk Brake conversion kit Instruction Manual

A copy of the instruction manual for the Torrel Disk Brake kit for a Series Land Rover. Shown here with permission from Torrel Industries.

Installation instructions for a very easy modification. I installed a set of these on my 1970 109 station wagon. They work well and I feel it's a wise choice in the North American market. Being of General Motors origin, the wear items are readily available at any auto parts store.

Fairey Overdrive Installation and User's Manual

A link to the Fairey Overdrive Internet site. The genuine information.

Link to Installation and User's Manual

25D/45D distributor rebuild

The author doesn't make reference to it being for a 45D distributor but they are almost identical so... The Land Rover Series motors used both of these distributors in their time as well as the DM2 which is also similar. There are a couple of excellent links from the article if you want to know a bit more about distributors in general. The site is from Simon Lacey and he does not warranty any content contained therein or certify that the information is correct or accurate. As with anything on the internet, reader beware! Click here for the Simon Lacey distributor article.

Wiring and old Land Rovers

by Greg Sutfin. February 2007

Wiring stuff and things I’ve learned.

Wiring is something that will raise questions from anyone owning or working on an old Land Rover. I’ve done my share of working on Land Rover wiring, and I’m still doing it. I’ve learned a lot as I’ve struggled along and know I’ve got lots more to learn. Some information that would have helped when I first started is what I’ve put together for you here. Memorizing the first section will be of immense help to you. There will be a test on it soon. This information is of special interest to people with a concern for older (leaf sprung) Series Land Rovers

In the following descriptions, ”ignition-switched” means the wire is powered on and off by turning the ignition switch on or off. ”Fused” means it is fuse protected by the stock fuse box.

SOLID BLACK----Grounding wires

SOLID BROWN----Main power feed, not fused, not switched (always ON)

WHITES----Not fused but ignition-switched

YELLOWS----Charging system

SOLID GREEN----From the fuse box, fused, supplies ignition-switched components like heater fan switch, turn signals feed, wiper feed, electric gauges.

GREEN w COLOURED TRACE----Fused, ignition-switched, from the component switch or gauge to the component. [Power would be supplied by a solid green wire described above.] Examples are between the fuel gauge and tank sender or between the heater switch and fan. Turn signals are Green w Red tracer for Left and Green w White tracer for Right. [Turn signal wire back from the light fixture to the first connector is solid green because they don't know which side you'll be installing it, from this bullet connector back to the switch it will have it's appropriate tracer.]

BLUE----Headlights: Red tracer for low beam; White tracer for high beam

SOLID RED----Park lights, tail lights, panel and similar lights

This is a brief outline of the colours. I feel you MUST have a copy of the wiring diagram for your model to understand what connects where. A wiring diagram is most helpful, especially once (if) you learn how to read it. The British ones try to confuse you with little abbreviations like ”U” to mean something obscure like ”blue” and ”N” for ”brown”.

Older wire was made in three layers, then a second fabric cover making it into a loom. Innermost is the copper strands, possibly turned black with age and water ingress. Next layer is a black plastic cover; all our older Land Rover wires are originally black plastic covered. This is followed by a weave of fabric that contains the colours described above. Age, dirt and oil will make the fabric cover look like it was originally BLACK. If you fray it a bit, clean it, or follow it back up the line to a protected part, you will be able to determine the colour (usually, and if you have good eyesight). (See the first photo below.) A number of wires are then contained in a black fabric wrap to make a loom. Often by cutting back the loom cover an inch or so, you can get a clean sample of the original cloth fabric colour of the wires within.

Automotive wire is different than house wire because it has to continually flex from the vibration of a moving vehicle. It’s made of many fine strands of wire, where the house wire is a single strand that won’t stand up to flex and vibration before it ”work hardens” and fractures. There are various other grades between these two; wires are made for specific applications, make sure you are using a wire meant for the automotive application or equivalent. The smaller strands of the automotive type bend easy and if one strand does break, the others span the broken spot, very little is lost due to an individual strand being broken. As mentioned, there is more than one type of stranded wire; for automotive use, you want a wire with about 20 strands, NOT the 7 strand stuff that will eventually break from flex and vibration, not unlike the single strand house wire. (See the photos below.) On later models, and in some peripheral wire, the colour code is impregnated into the plastic insulation of the wire rather than in a woven cover, and so doesn’t have the inner black plastic insulation.

The wires terminate at a soldered on ”bullet connector”. In the long run this is a more secure termination than on other makes of vehicles that have a crimp connection. The short-coming with the English design is that each end of the wire has a ’male’ bullet connector so each wire to wire connection needs an adapter to join the two bullets. You now have a non-soldered connecting device containing two spots for corrosion, one at each bullet within the joiner and dissimilar metals as well. Take heart; other automotive makes have three points for possible corrosion at each connector. Poor power supply to a component is often cured by cleaning the contacts within the connectors and slathering the connection with di-electric grease before reconnecting them. The di-electric grease will help keep out water and prevent corrosion and won’t let any power ”bleed off”.

Ground wires (black, usually not cloth covered) have the same type of connectors and are prone to this corrosion which is usually the cause of dim lighting and other electrical gremlins. If you have one bright headlight and the other is dim, it’s a sure sign of a poor ground. If you have a component not working properly and it seems to be controlled by a totally unrelated switch, it will be because of a bad ground to one of the devices; something like the turn signal lighting because the park lights are on, or other weird combination. I once had to shut off headlights to get the motor to stop despite having the ignition shut off; all because of a broken ground. It’s a long story!

Because of electrolysis between dissimilar metals and the need to minimize electrical current between the metal components of the vehicle, do not use aluminum body panels as a ground. All grounds need to go to steel components that are in turn well bonded to the grounded chassis or to a ground strap from the battery. If you are having problems with both your headlights and possibly turn signals at the front, they are all grounded to the ”Breakfast”; is the ”Breakfast” grounded to the battery with a separate wire? Or well bonded to the chassis through the three rusty bolts and plastic spacers on the bottom mounts? The Chassis must be grounded to the battery; the battery has two ground straps, one to the engine (which is rubber mounted and thus isolated from the chassis) and one to the chassis; the engine ground might be connected directly to the chassis ground bolt. The engine is going to be your single largest grounding concern because it has the largest draw of all, only when the starter is engaged, but you will burn other ground wires if the engine isn’t grounded properly, and the starter won’t have full power.

Remember I mentioned that the copper strands might have turned black with age and water ingress? This is an oxidizing, much like anodized aluminum compared to regular aluminum. Anodized aluminum is the brightly coloured stuff that comes in red, blue, gold and other decorative hews but isn’t painted. The copper wire inside the black oxidized coating is just fine but the coating is insulating the individual strand so you won’t get a good crimp connection and you certainly won’t be able to solder it. If you have the option, cut the wire back to clean copper or replace the whole wire. If the original soldered bullet connectors are still attached and another fitting isn’t being put on, I would leave it in place unless there’s other damage. The only time I suspect the black coating should be a concern is if you are joining something to the wire, like a new end, by solder or crimp; solder won’t stick to the black coating. Connecting to a wire with the corrosion blackened copper will put far more resistance into the circuit than planned, and might lead to a component not working as it should. Copper wire can also go green with corrosion. It is a sign of galvanic corrosion and if this is the case, the green section needs to be cut out and replaced; don’t even try crimping or soldering to green corroded wire. I’m told that the green powder from this is very toxic.

For more detail than you will ever need about wire insulation colours. Go to this site. MG or for a searchable site

The colours on the links are from the British Standards Institution 1983 Colour Code for Vehicle Wiring. Note also that the BSI list might not apply so precisely to older cars or older Land Rovers.

Link to a good colour schematic drawing for electricals of a 1969 petrol engined Land Rover.Click Here

wire automotive

Above is a typical, dirt impregnated cloth covered wire, Blue and Red are visible through the black oil and dirt. Note the fine strands of wire and the soldered bullet terminal.

wire 7 stand

Above is a non-automotive 7 strand wire. More flexible than single strand but still not up to the quality required to use for automotive purposes. This wire is far more likely to fracture from work hardening than proper automotive wire.

Differential Drain Plug Improvement

by Greg Sutfin

I once posted a method of removing the broken stub of an axle from the side gear in a differential. I referred to it as the "Nicholson Method". It is a method that doesn't always work but is a quick fix in a pinch. It involves removal of the broken piece without drive shaft removal and subsequently disassembling the differential.

This method so raised the ire of one reader of the website that he felt compelled to point out how destructive a technique this is as it leaves large amounts of metal shards in the diff oil to be circulated around the gears and through the bearings. The use of a magnet is required to pull the broken stub out of the axle after it is freed from the side gear. His comment was something like "For all the good the magnet does at removing the metal splinters left behind, you may as well leave it in the diff".

I felt a little wounded at first as I thought I had been helpful with a quick fix. He is right though that there is a lot of destructive metal left behind that needs to be removed as soon as possible before bearings and gear teeth are damaged. It might not be convenient on a steep hill miles from nowhere, surrounded by boulders and mud, to start using hospital-like sterile techniques to disassemble and clean the diff and axle case, re-assemble, add new oil and continue.

His criticism sparked a thought. Stick a magnet INSIDE the differential!

Problem: It will make the whole diff case, gears and bearings magnetic. Metal would stick to the very parts you want to protect.

I thought about it, removed the BRASS drain plug, checked it against the "Rare Earth Magnet" I had purchased at Lee Valley Tools (a franchised Canadian company; I don't know what might be similar in the USA). I found the magnet was just a little smaller than the inner diameter of the threads. I used automotive "Shoe Goo" to attach the magnet, centered on the drain plug. When the plug is re-installed the magnet sits clear of any moving parts and touches nothing ferrous. The brass plug works as a great insulator so any ferrous particles in the oil will be drawn to the magnet and not to any other metal parts inside the workings of the differential.

Note well: After a stub removal, with minimal miles driven, when conveniently at camp, home or shop, NOW disassemble, clean and remove all the metal shards. Re-assemble using NEW gear oil.

I don't know if the guy was trying to belittle me with his comments, but it sure developed into what I think is a good idea. (Who says I can't take criticism?)

Zenith IV Carburettor Service Bulletin

A Zenith 36 IV carburettor was installed from the factory on 88's and 109's alike from the mid sixties till mid eighties. It generally worked well and there is a lot of information, some right and some wrong, on various sites on the internet. Here is a Service Bulletin from Zenith. That explains the carburettor in detail and how to solve problems with it. It may take a while to download as it's a pdf file and 2.35 mb long. You do have Adobe Reader don't you? If not, why not?

Rebuild Warn xd9000i Winch

Warn winches are one of the most common winches in use in this country and are considered one of, if not the, best winches on the market. (I have a Koenig PTO winch.) Here is a link to a comprehensive article (Not from Warn.) on how to rebuild/ repair one. Link to Warn xd9000i winch rebuild.

GL4 gear oil

I have searched common sources for GL4 oil and it didn't seem available without buying some fancy "Racing" or "Classic Car" mixture. But if you keep digging, you'll strike oil, and strike oil I did!

GL4 is the standard oil for use in high pressure, mid temperature operations (gear boxes, differentials), GL5 is for the same application as GL4 but with additives to make it acceptable in limited slip differentials BUT it is not compatible with soft metals in some transmissions and differentials, soft metals meaning the brass or bronze bushings and spacers like those found in old Series Land Rovers.

GL4 oil is very hard to find now as the GL5 is taking over. To buy some good old-fashioned GL4, modernized for other virtues, visit your nearest Chevron commercial supplier, aka Bulk Plant. Ask for Chevron Delo ESI Gear Lube 80-90. I don't know if it is available in quart (or liter) sizes but it is available in 20 liter (5 US gallon) size. It is about 2/3 the price of synthetics according to my source. It has a very long usable life and will not attack the soft metals due to its chemistry. It is a Potassium Boric chemistry (which is good despite what some Blogs might say). Most oils use Sulphur Phosphorus chemistry, and this, mixed with humidity in the air in the gearcase makes suphuric acid that attacks the soft metals.

I am lead to understand that Volvo trucks recommend the use of this gear lube as does Eaton Transmission. I haven't checked out this tid-bit though.

To read more about GL4 and GL5 oils, look at this VW oriented site, Gear oil selection.

In a nut shell, that's it.

Greg Sutfin 2006

Nicholson Method of Removing Stub of Broken Axle

by Greg Sutfin

The Nicholson method to remove the axle stub, broken off at the differential spline, is to remove both axles. Insert a strong magnet on a stiff rod from the "bad" side till it is centered and stuck on the broken stub. From the "good" side insert a long piece of 1/4 inch square stock, small enough that it will slide past the pin in the center of the diff. Look in there with a flashlight, you'll see whats needed. Tap on the square stock once you have wiggled it through the center of the diff. and against the broken stub. The broken stub comes out of the spline and is removed with the magnet. When you "tap" the bar, do it lightly. Many small taps are far better than a few heavy ones otherwise you may find you have severely bent or peened the bar. Also change sides of the center pin to work the stub out evenly. This almost always works, but there are exceptions, you may find you have to remove the third member (aka Pumpkin) and dissassemble the pinion gears to get the piece out.

You will still have metal shards in the oil in the diff case but this quick removal method will get you going in a pinch or make it so you can remove the third member. (Third member seems to be the American name for a diff that comes out the front as a unit). At the soonest opportunity (like, right away, but not stuck out on some trail in the mud somewhere) You will have to remove the third member and drain away all the metal contaminated oil, wipe out the inside of the case, flush any metal contamination from the gears and bearings, inspect and re-assemble with new gear oil.

A "strong" magnet can be obtained in Canada from Lee Valley Tools. Order the "RARE Earth magnet"; a set of five, 3/4 inch diameter, will set you back about $10.00. They are incredibly STRONG, don't let two snap together where you might get flesh caught between. They will raise a blood blister faster than you can blink. (Ask me how I know!) I stuck one flush on the end of a piece of polyvinyl water pipe about 3 feet long (1 meter for those of you who can figure out metric) and use this as my broken axle remover. The other magnets in the set you save to play with. They will amuse a grown male adult for hours. Wives don't seem to be so impressed with such simple playthings. One placed in the palm of your hand and another on the back of your hand will hold each other in place. (That's magnets on either side of your hand, NOT wives, two wives in that same circumstance would tear you apart.)

A word of warning: If heated with a torch they QUICKLY lose their magnetism.

Seat Replacement

by Greg Sutfin

It was suggested to me to get seats from a VW Jetta or Sirroco. The "Reccaro" seat was touted to be best, as it was a "Racing" seat available as an option. I found some at a wrecking yard but thought the side bolsters would be a problem while getting in and out and my elbows would probably bump into them when turning the steering wheel on a corner. I opted for the regular high-back, cloth seat with the headrest. I am really pleased with them! They were also less than half the price of the Reccaro seats.

The VW seats are about the closest I could find to the series seats of 19"x19". I could still put the original middle seat in if I took an inch and a half off the width of it but think I will just leave the space as storage.

To mount the VW seats I had to cut their mount off as flat with the bottom of the seat as possible, them welded a "T" of 1"x1/8" flat bar to what was left of their triangular mount. I drilled the flat bar to mount the thing with 1/2" bolts. Now comes the hard part! I took the seat-box out of the Rover, measured carefully and cut 1 1/4" out of the top of the box after having removed the cubby. I only went about 21" in from the outside edges so that the middle seat/inspection cover area wasn't affected and the hand brake opening could stay in place. I also have a power take-off lever for a winch mounted above the tunnel in the front of the seat-box and didn't want to start adjusting that. I trimmed the opening with 1x2 lumber fastened with marine adhesive/sealer and every 1 1/2" with stainless screws, then sprayed it all on the inside with automotive undersealer to seal and preserve it. The seat box goes back in to the car, then I mounted some aluminum pieces I had bent to shape. 1/2" lip down the front to screw into the front of the seat box and wood strip, and a 3" lip UP the back to bolt across the back where the old seat box bolted on. (3" = 1 1/4 drop + original raised lip + extra in case I made a mistake. The extra can be cut off later.) Position the seats; wedge the front to get the right height. Double nut the front mounting bolt with one nut & washer above the new seat box top and the other nut & washer below so you can custom adjust the height. Then remove the temporary wedge.

Years later, and about 40,000+ miles, I'm still very happy with this setup. I have since found out that the VW van seat is not as thick through the seat so will bolt to the top of the Land Rover seat-box without modification and you can retain the VW adjusters. My Jetta seats have no fore and aft adjustment but with a wrench I can adjust them for tilt. (I never have after the initial setting.) After a couple years of pounding, the front adjustment bolt on the driver's side cracked the new aluminum seat-box top. I went to a fab shop and they welded it back together and added a thickener.

Transfer Case Removal While Leaving the Transmission in Place

by Greg Sutfin

I developed a vibration that I thought was serious. On inspection I found loose flange-bolts on the rear flange of the front drive-shaft. In fact two were gone and the other two were backed way off. In an act of stupidity on my part, while fixing the problem I managed to get a major crack in the front output-shaft housing where it bolts onto the main body of the transfer case. I was in Calgary when it broke, on a day trip from near Invermere B.C. while on vacation there. I had to get back to Invermere that night and was LUCKY enough to find a welder in Calgary to tackle the repair job that afternoon. I had the top flange on the old housing welded to hold it together but it was leaking oil. Despite the leak, which was a crack extending way down the side of the housing, I was really pleased with his work and got back to Invermere and subsequently back to the Island without mishap. Ray from Wise Owl kindly supplied me with a spare case to replace the cracked one.

I put a question on the LRX site asking if anyone knew if this case is "--- removable without taking the whole transmission out of the vehicle? The books I have only explain working on any of the transmission while it is on the shop floor and bench. I have looked at this case and if I remove the clutch slave??? Anyone have first hand (or second hand) experience with what I am hoping to do? ---"

I got the following answer back from Mike from OZ. Using my Haynes manual and following his instructions, it worked great and was an easy job to do. Note, though, that the output case itself is not removable in the vehicle. This is for removal of the whole transfer case.

To remove the transfer case (but not the gearbox):
1.) Drop the oil; support the main gearbox; remove the rear mounts.
2.) Drop the propshafts and remove the floor and tunnel.
3.) Remove the bottom cover.
4.) Remove the hand brake drum, etc.
5.) Remove the intermediate gear shaft from the rear of the transfer case; support the intermediate gear.
6.) Remove the intermediate gear and its two shims.
7.) If I remember, there are 5 bolts to undo, big ones inside the box and small ones at the top.
8.) Pull the box free and don't crush yourself!
9.) Reverse the process when ready.

Paint Codes

Paint Colors 
Description	   Rover No.      DuPont       Ditzler     RM-Supermax  

Pastel Green	   RTC4041A       38504              		RV-028
Bronze Green	   RTC4042A       38500         46451		RV-027
Marine Blue	   RTC4043A       38503         16514		RV-017
Limestone	   RTC4044A       38505         46251		RV-040
Poppy Red		          38506             		RV-029
Sand		          	  38502
Mid grey			  38501

Check these before you buy. I haven't verified any of these numbers. I take a flake of paint to the paint store and get them to computer match it.

British Registration Letters

Author unknow, info screened from the internet, beleaved to be true but as with everything you see on the internet, reader beware! I do not warrant any content contained herein or certify that the information is correct or accurate.

Registrations Guide. 
Suffix Letter							Prefix Letter					
A	FEB	1963	To	DEC	1963		A	AUG	1983	To	JULY	1984
B	JAN	1964	To	DEC	1964		B	AUG	1984	To	JULY	1985
C	JAN	1965	To	DEC	1965		C	AUG	1985	To	JULY	1986
D	JAN	1966	To	DEC	1966		D	AUG	1986	To	JULY	1987
E	JAN	1967	To	JULY	1967		E	AUG	1987	To	JULY	1988
F	AUG	1967	To	JULY	1968		F	AUG	1988	To	JULY	1989
G	AUG	1968	To	JULY	1969		G	AUG	1989	To	JULY	1990
H	AUG	1969	To	JULY	1970		H	AUG	1990	To	JULY	1991
J	AUG	1970	To	JULY	1971		J	AUG	1991	To	JULY	1992
K	AUG	1971	To	JULY	1972		K	AUG	1992	To	JULY	1993
L	AUG	1972	To	JULY	1973		L	AUG	1993	To	JULY	1994
M	AUG	1973	To	JULY	1974		M	AUG	1994	To	JULY	1995
N	AUG	1974	To	JULY	1975		N	AUG	1995	To	JULY	1996
P	AUG	1975	To	JULY	1976		P	AUG	1996	To	JULY	1997
R	AUG	1976	To	JULY	1977		R	AUG	1997	To	JULY	1998
S	AUG	1977	To	JULY 	1978		S	AUG	1998	To	FEB	1999
T	AUG	1978	To	JULY	1979		T	MAR	1999	To	AUG	1999
V	AUG	1979	To	JULY	1980		V	SEPT	1999	To	FEB	2000
W	AUG	1980	To	JULY	1981		W	MAR	2000	To	AUG	2000
X	AUG	1981	To	JULY	1982		X	SEPT	2000	To	FEB	2001
Y	AUG	1982	To	JULY	1983		Y	MAR	2001	To	AUG	2001
New Style												
51	SEPT	2001	To	FEB	2002							
02	MAR	2002	To	AUG	2002							
52	SEPT	2002	To	FEB	2003